Max Factor escapes ASA ban following complaints about 'unsubstantiated' skincare claims

A TV spot for Coty cosmetics brand Max Factor which claimed that one of its products was ‘better for your skin than no foundation’ has escaped a ban by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following an investigation.

The ad, created by SwanMedia Productions, showed a model applying and wearing Max Factor’s Healthy Skin Harmony Miracle Foundation, while a voiceover addressed viewers saying: ‘Who says foundation can’t be good for your skin? Health Skin Foundation is better for your skin than no foundation.’

On-screen text then appeared, stating the product’s benefits, including ‘Hydration’, ‘SPF 20’, ‘Shine Control’ and ‘Added Vitamins.’

The spot generated seven complaints, with complainants contending that the commercial’s ‘better for your skin than no foundation’ claim could not be substantiated.

However, the ASA concluded that consumers would understand the nature of the claims, made in the context of the ad, and ruled that the spot was not misleading. The ad was not found to be in breach of any of BCAP’s codes.

Max Factor said that the ad did not suggest direct health benefits, other than skin hydration and sun protection, could be derived from the product – but did suggest that the product “made the skin look healthier”.

The brand said that there was scientifically accepted evidence that moisturising and sun protection were good for the skin, and that additional benefits, such as the ‘Added Vitamins’, were accounted for by the presence of B5, B3 and E in the product.

Meanwhile, Clearcast, the ad clearance service, asked an independent skin expert to evaluate the claims of the ad, who confirmed the product’s sun protection claims.

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